CompuScholar, Inc. formally known as Homeschool Programming, was started by husband and wife Chris and Andrea Yust. Using the love of computers and programming, they worked together to create courses to teach professional programming languages in a fun way that is understandable by students, and non-technically savvy teachers and parents. Their goal is to help teachers and/or parents that want their students to have digital literacy and solid computer skills. Solid computer skills are so important in this modern age of technology and the new Digital Savvy course from CompuScholar, Inc. provides excellent instruction in fundamental computing topics.
Digital Savvy is one of several courses offered by CompuScholar, Inc. The course is good for middle to high school students (grades 6-12) that want to improve their computer skills or prepare for courses in Information Technology they may later take. The price for Digital Savvy is $120 a year or you have the option of paying $15 monthly. Be sure to check the prices for other available subscription options. This computer science course is two semesters long with over 25 chapters for the student to complete. This will allow for a full elective credit you can add to your student’s high school transcript. Each chapter has at least 3 or more lessons with a corresponding quiz the student will need to complete. Once all the lessons and quizzes for the chapter have been completed there is a hands-on activity, and an exam at the end. The types of topics the student will cover are:
* Hardware, software, operating systems
* Managing files and folders
* Basic Networking
* Online safety and computer security
* Imagine editing
* Using social media and email communications, and more
The quizzes and exams are auto graded in the system so you don’t need to worry about grading each one as they are completed. The only thing you will have to take time to grade is the activities at the end of the chapter. Once your student has completed the activity you will be able to easily grade it using a rubric system. From there the grade is automatically calculated for you.
There are only a few things to note before getting started with Digital Savvy. For starters your student needs to be familiar with the basic use of computers. This means knowing things like what the mouse, keyboard, web browser are. This program works on any laptop, PC, or tablet that has Windows 7, 8, or 10 or Mac version 10.7 or higher operating systems. You will also need a reliable internet connection since this is an online course. Once you pay you will receive some codes by email in order for you to set up your accounts. One account is for the parent (teacher) and the other is for the student.
If you find yourself lost there is help available. On the top menu bar there is a section called “Self-Registration”. If you scroll over it there is a tutorial option. Click on this. I found that to be very helpful in seeing how to get set up. After that I selected “Redeem a Course Code” on that same section of the menu bar. On here you fill out all the information it asks you, click “Enroll Me”, then you are ready to log in and get started. Please note this process has to be done for the teacher and student account separate. That is why you will be given a separate code for each one.
I highly recommend looking around first to get yourself familiar with how the program works. After logging in on my side (teacher account) I looked under the Teacher Menu on the left hand side. There was a tutorial section there. I clicked on it and saw there was a selection of training module videos. This is also available on the student account as well. After I watched the videos I had my son watch them too so he could get himself familiar with how to navigate around the website. I also liked the section under the Teacher Menu called “Professional Development”. There you can click on “Common Administrative Features” and be able to watch video tutorials on how to use different features on the site like the grade book, learn about the quizzes and test, and even how to add a sibling.
My high school son loved doing his daily Digital Savvy lessons. He spent a week or a little over a week to complete a full chapter. He already knew his way around the computer but he did learn many things he did not already know. He did not know about different operating systems, or where to go to find the system information on a laptop, tablet, or PC. He said the lesson videos and text reading were helpful in his learning. He liked being given the opportunity to get another try on a quiz or test when he missed a question or scored a low grade. He did not enjoy doing the activities at the end of the lessons. This is why it took him over a week to do some of the chapters. The reason it took him so long is because he has a language delay so writing a report was not easy for him. I had to get creative in modifying this part for him. I let him do most of his assignments either orally, or just had him fill in his answer to certain questions from the assignment. I also would like to mention that my husband who is an IT professional was impressed with Digital Savvy as well. It reminded him of a class he taught at a local community college helping people learn the basics of computer skills. That class was not as advanced as Digital Savvy. All in all we think this is a great program for our son and plan for him to continue it to the end.
Thank you for taking the time to read my review. Other members of the Homeschool Review Crew also had a chance to review Digital Savvy courses as well like Web Design, and Java Programming from CompuScholar, Inc. Click on the banner below to read what they had to share.
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